Cockburn, R., Gray, K. & Thompson, R.
Wellington: New Zealand Olympic Committee
Area of focus: 
New Zealand

Commissioned by the New Zealand Olympic Committee (NZOC), this report is the first analysis of women's representation in New Zealand sports since 1994. The issue of women's representation was highlighted throughout the 1990s, and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) adopted a proposal in 1996 which set a target of 20 percent female representation on individual sports boards by 2005.

Undertaken in 2007, this study examined women's participation at the policy-making, management and national coaching levels. It found that 27 percent of board roles in New Zealand were held by women, which constituted no change from 1994. Ten boards had no women members, and 50 percent were below IOC's threshold. There were far fewer national development boards for women than in 1994, and most board had fewer women members than the proportion of women players of the sport. Men were more likely than women to be paid coaches of both male and female sportspeople. Twenty-six percent of respondents believed women met more barriers to advancement than men, with lack on mentors and role models, career break for domestic reasons, low confidence, lack of childcare and unconscious bias being the main reasons cited.

The report recommends the NZOC pursue development of mentoring programmes, confidence-building strategies for high-achieving women, and social marketing to boards about the benefits of gender diversity.